Saving water in the garden. The only responsible way to landscape.
This is what drives me, as a landscaper. I believe water is our most precious resource and growing more, with less, is considered in every landscape I build.
So naturally, I installed my own landscape, in Winter, as I can rely on natural rainfall to establish my new turf and plants. Well that’s OK in theory I guess, but what happens if we get a dry week? My investment will dry out and stress, which I don’t want.
[MP Rotator, Palmetto Soft Leaf Buffalo, Recycled Brick, Colorbond Vege Beds, Jarrah Picket Fence]
Ok some of you may say ‘just program your irrigation system and let the rain sensor shut it off during rain events’. Yes that’s true, but if the system is scheduled to water at 6am and it rains at 9am, I’ve just wasted water. And like you, I don’t have the time to manually turn the system on everyday.
I NEEDED MORE! Haha! Being in the landscape/irrigation industry, I've been constantly searching for a way to do this affordably for quite some time. I finally found what I was searching for. The controller is called the Skydrop.
[The controller whilst watering. The blue ring is very cool]
Simply speaking, this controller connects to your WiFi and downloads real time weather data and changes your irrigation programming to suit. For example: I have programmed the controller to water at 6am. The Skydrop knows rain is forecasted during the day, so it doesn’t turn the system on. [To be honest here, the day after finishing my new landscape, I walked outside at 6:30am, coffee in hand, admiring my hard work and then wondered ‘why aren’t the sprinklers on, what is wrong with this thing!’ I underestimated the Power of the Skydrop!]
Now consider this (data for the geeks). My new landscape has 36m2 of grass and 150m2 of garden. To establish this in winter, I am allowed with my watering exemption to deliver 7.5mm of water every day for 35 days:
Total establishment area = 186m2
7.5mm of water over area = 186 x 7.5
= 1,395L per day
In the first week, it rained for 5 of the 7 days. Resulting in nearly 7000L of water saved. Would my old controller with the rain sensor saved as much? I don’t believe it would of saved half of that. I won’t bore you with the details of a rain sensor, but it’s a mechanical device in a digital world. It’s finished as far as I’m concerned.
[The Skydrop is easier to program via the free app]
I’m really looking forward to seeing the water savings it can bring in Summer. Considering the amount of detail I have entered into the Skydrop, it knows exactly where and when to save water. For every zone, it knows what device is emitting the water, turf/plant type, the soil profile, whether it’s on a slope, or in the shade and exactly what the weather is, in real time.
[All the options for programming each zone. It was surprisingly accurate calculating run times]
Now of course the hard sell.. Is your controller old, hard to use, dial not working? Consider an upgrade. DBM Landscapes can install a Skydrop at your house for $100 more than a regular Hunter X-Core or any entry level controller. Does it deserve a place inside your home next to your air-con controller? Mine did and it was more difficult so expect it to cost an extra hour for labour. Call/SMS me directly on 0418 854 416, or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aaron Nitschke – Director & Operations Manager @ DBM Landscapes